Ever since the Righthaven debacle, I’ve been wondering about the profitability of copyright enforcement actions against bloggers. Bloggers aren’t the deepest pockets, and numerous copyright doctrines make wins and big judgments expensive and unlikely, plus a single 505 fee shift can erase accumulated profits from many small-scale wins (see, e.g., 1, 2, 3, 4).
Today’s case gives us some additional numbers to crunch. Mishka runs a fashion blog. She included 2 photos to which BWP owned the copyrights. (BWP is a familiar name on this blog). BWP sued in August 2013. As usual in these circumstances, BWP didn’t send any takedown notices, and Mishka deleted the photos upon receiving the complaint. In March 2016, BWP accepted an offer of judgment for $7,500 plus “costs and attorney [sic] fees in the amount to be set by the Court.”
Case citation: BWP Media USA, Inc. v. Mishka NYC LLC, 2016 WL 8309676 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 28, 2016)
The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/02/revisiting-if-suing-bloggers-for-copyright-infringement-can-be-profitable-bwp-v-mishka.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.
What the RIAA and 14 other groups are telling the US Copyright Office is simple: The 19-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act isn’t working. They say the process of granting legal immunity—or “safe harbor”—to ISPs who “expeditiously” remove copyrighted content upon notice of the rights holder needs to be supplanted with fresh piracy controls. That’s because, they say, the process creates a so-called “endless game of whack-a-mole” in which an ISP will remove pirated content only to see it instantaneously reappear at the push of a button by a copyright scofflaw. This requires the rights holder to send a new takedown notice—often again and again.
Creative Commons, often known as CC, allows content creators to share their works with various licenses. The license at issue here is known as BY-NC-SA 4.0. Content under this license can be freely used by anybody for “noncommercial” purposes if the original source is credited. There are more than 1.1 billion works within the CC licensing umbrella, and 150 million licensed for noncommercial use.
However, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit educational stalwart called Great Minds (GM) tried to turn the CC noncommercial licensing scheme on its head. Great Minds develops K-12 curriculum for schools throughout the US and licenses its product under the CC noncommercial license. The nonprofit sued FedEx for profiting when school representatives used FedEx to duplicate the materials so they could be distributed in class. Great Minds demanded royalties from FedEx, which refused. Great Minds sued last year, claiming FedEx was infringing its content, which also enjoys US copyright protection.
Last week, at the ABA’s Midyear Meeting in Miami, Florida, the Section of Intellectual Property Law’s Computer Program & New Technologies Committee hosted a Q&A event with the U.S. Copyright Office to discuss the new online DMCA Designated Agent Directory. [Eric’s most recent blog post on this topic.] Attorney-Advisor Jason Sloan joined via telephone to answer a set of questions collected in advance, as well as field live questions from attendees. Below is a transcription of the Q&A session, moderated by the Committee Vice Chair Franklin Graves, published in an effort to provide answers and insights into common issues and scenarios facing practicing attorneys working with the new system.
The company proposed Oculus be “permanently enjoined, on a worldwide basis, from using… any of the Copyrighted Materials, including but not limited to (i) system software for Oculus PC (including the Oculus PC SDK); (ii) system software for Oculus Mobile (including the Oculus Mobile SDK); (iii) Oculus integration with the Epic Games Unreal Engine; and (iv) Oculus integration with the Unity Technologies Unity Game Engine.”
Facebook offered a comment to UploadVR calling the filing “legally flawed and factually unwarranted,” then confirmed its commitment to appealing the court’s ruling from early February in favor of ZeniMax.